Marcus Rashford thanks Boris Johnson over free school meals for children in summer

Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford has thanked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for making a U-turn over free school meals in the summer.

According to a report, Rashford spoke to Mr Johnson today to express gratitude.

Johnson changed his mind to give disadvantaged children free school meals, following the backing of Rashford by some Tory MPs.

The striker had already raised £20m to provide 3m meals for children during lockdown

The PM announced that around 1.3million children currently eligible for free lunches in England will get vouchers worth £15 a week that can be spent in supermarkets.

Downing Street said the £120million Covid Summer Food Fund was ‘one-off’ recognition of the struggles families faced as the coronavirus lockdown sends the economy into a tailspin.

‘The Prime Minister fully appreciates the problems facing families across the UK during this difficult times,’ Mr Johnson’s spokesman said.

The climbdown followed a growing Tory revolt urging him to think again after rejecting the appeal from Rashford.

The footballer told his legion of social media followers earlier: ‘We aren’t beaten yet’.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt was among those saying that the position would have to change, while education select committee chair Robert Halfon threatened to vote against the government in a Commons debate later.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey risked inflaming the situation by engaging in a Twitter spat with Rashford after he said children did not have access to showers.

Rashford hailed the news this afternoon, tweeting: ‘I don’t even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, THIS is England in 2020.’

He added: ‘There is still a long way to go but I am thankful to you all that we have given these families just one less thing to worry about tonight.’

Labour leader Keir Starmer said: ‘This is another welcome u-turn from Boris Johnson. The thought of 1.3 million children going hungry this summer was unimaginable. Well done to @MarcusRashford and many others who spoke out so powerfully about this issue.’